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Hi Guys,
I'm relatively new to the game and I’ve shopped around for ways to learn the golf swing naturally. Through reading and YouTube, I’ve really resonated with the teachings of Manuel De La Torre. While there isn’t too much available content regarding club-focused instruction online relative to body-focused instruction, I’ve been happy to see such awesome praise for the teachings of MDLT from @juststeve and other members of GolfWRX. With that being said, I figured this might be the best place to seek answers on some questions I have regarding the core swing philosophy.
Simply put, should I be focusing on maintaining a smooth swinging motion (such as the ball on a string) while swinging back with both hands and forward with both arms, providing me four discrete thoughts to focus on in the swing motion. Or, can I disregard the ball on the string line of thinking and focus solely on back with hands and forward with both arms?

Thanks,
Nick

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Very long ago I played two rounds in one day with Manny and Moe Norman at Milwaukee Country Club.  If Norman had applied himself to putting that day he would have broken 60.  Never have I seen anyone

The idea is to grip the club in a manner that will bring the club face back to square without manipulation on your part. I'm having diffidently imagining how that can happen with the grip you descriv

In this thread there are a number of misconceptions about what Manny taught. For the benefit of those who want to swing the way he thought, a few clarifications. Manny used and taught the same swing

Each instructor is going to have there own way of doing it. My advice is to stick with one teacher weather it be online, in person or reading there book. This way you don't get information from multiple sources. For instance Dave Pelz and Stan Utley couldn't be more different in their teaching philosophy. However they both have taught on the PGA tour and had success with their methods. If you went to each one of them for lessons you would be so confused. I only pick these too as I spent about three years working under both of them at different times in my life.

 

Manueal De La Torre teaches more of a hands swing and the body will follow. With the advent of technology some will argue that the best ball strikers the body moves the golf swing and not the hands.

 

My message is stick with someone you believe in and don't let all the other noise change you.

 

 

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MDLT theory changed my game. I was a single digit that floated up to a 12. My problem was too many thoughts and manipulating the club with my hands. I was flipping and hitting weak fades.

Manuel's theories may not be a solution for everyone, but it worked for me.

Take it back with right hand. Swing the whole club toward target with upper left arm. Do not manipulate club with hands or forearms.

Your body will react naturally. Absolutely works.

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Nick:

 

The ball on the string, pocket knife on the handkerchief nd such are merely to help you identify a swinging motion contrasted with the many other ways people move the club. Those tool are only relevant from waist high to waist high. Once you have identified a swinging motion just direct that motion toward the target.

If you want to get into the concept I recommend Manny's book, Understanding The Golf Swing.

I also recommend that you Google Manuel de la Torre 1987 Clinic. It will take you to a group lesson in about 6 parts with Manny himself teaching and answering question from students.

Finally, google Manuel De La Torre sawing 1990 and you will find Manny himself hitting some iron when he was nearing 70 years of age.

 

Good luck.

Steve

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have always been told that the body swings the club. Start with the lower body, etc. I have always struggled with this, so I tried the MDLT method and find it elegant in it's simplicity and no focusing on a plethora of angles and what not. Played my last golf today (all courses closed at noon), shot a 39 (par 35). I am going to stick with it. Too bad I won't be able to practice it for the nonce. Hopefully we will all be playing golf sooner rather than later.

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Sean:

 

Actually you can practice without a golf course, a range or even a golf ball if necessary. At its most fundamental what you need to do is swing the club from one side to the other brushing the turf on the way. You will do yourself a lot of good just by doing that with your feet together. The swing and brush will remind you that your job is to move the club, the club moves the ball. Feet together will assure you that your swing center remains quiet as the club swings around it. With the feet together you will bet the feeling of allowing you body to respond, and of cours it will do wonders for your balance. You may find that a little no ball club swinging will help a lot.

 

Steve

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Steve/Sean - since we all have time now to work on our swing anywhere but on the course I've been trying your suggestion to just swing the club and brush the turf (rug) with my feet together.

Question - concentrating on the spine as a fixed point - do you consciously try to stay behind the ball or will staying centered accomplish the same thing? This swing concept seems too simple - maybe that is the point?

I have a lunge at the ball habit and this seems to help that.

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I think it is that simple. If you play the ball in the middle of your stance, it should help you keep from lunging.

I think with the modern drivers, you should play the ball forward in your stance for that club. MDLT encouraged all clubs played from center, but that was a different era of drivers.

Keep it simple, keep your hands and wrists from manipulating the club.

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A few things about this post:

Manny survived long enough to teach players who had modern large headed drivers. He did not deviate from his teaching regarding address position Manny did not teach people to position the ball in the center of the stance. What he taught was that you should address the ball with the club head in the center of your stance the ball obviously on the target side of the club head l. This means with a modern large headed driver the ball is well forward of the center of the stance, but not as far forward as some teach.Over a period of a couple of years Manny helped me learn to swing with the ball as far forward as my left instep. The result after quite a bit of work was I hit the ball a little further and a lot crookeder. I returned to the original method and scored better as a result'Manny was primarily concerned this making the swing as repeatable as possible. He believed that consistency was what golfers need and developed a swing concept which produces a lot of consistency without constant practice.

 

Steve

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I consciously try to swing the away from the target going back and toward the target going forward, around a fixed point. For me the fixed point is the bottom of my sternum, but that's an individual feel. Swing with the feet together will help you identify the point in your body that you feel you are swinging around. Lunging toward the target can't happen if you have transferred responsibility for the forward swing to both arms. Swing the club forward this your arms and allow your body to merely respond.

 

Steve

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Thanks for the response Steve. I've been doing a LOT of the feet together drill and I can feel a more centered swing as it is impossible to lunge with out losing your balance (obviously).

When I try doing it with a normal swing, on video I still notice my body moving toward the target and hence my swing bottom also moving forward. I can prevent this by concentrating on staying behind the ball at impact although I do wonder if this is a bit contrary to the MDLT philosophy? As I've mentioned previously I have significant feet/balance issues so this swing method is very intriguing to me - even if I do lose a bit of power.

I'm going to buy his book and read it now that I've got nothing but time on my hands.

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Stick with it. The thing I have found is that while I still have ups and downs, the valleys are not as deep, and they don’t lat as long.

 

if I don’t play for awhile, or I can’t practice, I can still play decent. I used to beat balls on the range and struggle with extreme highs and lows. Since accepting this method and experiencing major physical limitations because of a bad back and arthritis I am more consistent with about 90% less practice. I can shoot in the 80’s almost every day, and I rarely have a blow up round.

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Oiler:

Manny would suggest you focus on your weight distribution to "stay behind the ball". He wanted an equal distribution of weight on each foot, at address, at the end of the cack swing, and at impact. The closer you come to that distribution the more stationary your swing center will be.

I have developed some numbness in my feet that impairs my balance some. As long as I keep my swing center stationery it doesn't effect my ball striking.

Steve

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I tend to nit-pick everything, but if I like an aspect of something, enough, I can find a way to overlook something that bothers me. And even if one idea is wrong, a method can still work if it's not dependent on that one idea being correct. If a method works, it works. It just might not work for the assumed reason.

What appeals to me about his method is the idea of swinging a club with my hands is very pleasurable. It goes awry when doubt creeps in, so I either have to abandon ship for a method that doesn't create the same doubt, or answer the questions asked by that doubt.

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My reading of manny is that he wants you to visualize the swing being a circle as you make the backswing with your hands, not to rigidly make it so. A circle is easier to visualize than an ellipse, and Manny is all about simplicity of thought

 

Then the forward swing is controlled by the upper arms - the hands become passive, allowing centripetal forces to naturally unhinge the wrists

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Around the 3:40 mark, he seems pretty convinced it's a circle -

I spend part of my practice time hitting three balls in a straight line (about an inch apart) with one swing. I started doing that when I read something about a 'flat spot' in the golf swing (I think Andrew Rice mentioned it in his video about spin loft). I don't spend any time imagining the golf swing as an ellipse, but I don't see an advantage in imagining it to be something I know it's not (though, I remain open to the possibility, believe it or not).

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I have Manuel's book, video and I have watched most of the youtube videos. I have read Earnest Jones' book 'Swing the Clubhead' many times. I had some good success with the swing off and on but it would always go really bad after a while and I would end up hurting my lower back.

Recently I have found that if I swing the club past my body similar to Larry Rinker's 'Upper Core Swing' then I hit the ball better and I don't hurt my back. Doing this is a slippery deal as I often tend to start getting my body out in front without realizing it or I over do it and end up hooking the ball rather badly. One thing that seems to work in this regard is to think of Earnest Jones' admonition that the hands lead and the body follows. For as long as I can remember in my golfing life I have tried to get my lower body to start the downswing while the club is still going back which is what nearly every pro does and also what I have been taught during a large number of lessons. This is a bit at odds with Mr. Jones' hands lead philosophy though I never saw it that way in the past. Anyway to continue droning on I have found that by actually leading with the hands I can get the club swinging past my body and I am getting more consistent results as far as ball striking goes.

One other thing I have found useful is to practice swinging at half speed or so. For instance taking a full swing and hitting my five iron about 90 yards. It is much easier to learn to keep the hands relaxed through the swing by doing this drill and I recommend it highly. It is also easier to keep from getting the downswing outside of the plane at the top which is something that I tend to do especially when I tighten up and get too quick.

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I came across a couple of videos that talk about swinging club in what, I think, is the same manner. The first one is Jim Flick talking about swinging the arms, not the shoulders (and this right after watching talking about having loose enough wrists to hinge naturally with the swinging of the arms)

And this other video starts off with Flick and moves on to Moe Norman, who mentions de la Torre and the idea of the swing being circular

I think I'm more interested in the swinging of the club with the arms, in whatever shape it takes, than being anal about what that shape might be.

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